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Trip Report What I Did Right... and... What I Learned...

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I just returned from my first trip to Europe ( England, France, Italy ) and wanted to share with others what I did right and what I learned for my next trip.

What I Did Right

1. Research - There is no such thing as over-researching. I got to a point where I thought I might spoil the mystery if I kept researching but luckily I thought better. Reading forums, google-ing images and watching many you-tube videos about the places I was going only made those places that much more special in person.

2. Pack Light - I had the benefit of traveling solo and traveling in good weather, but I spent 19 days on the ground in Europe with only 1 carry-on backpack. I did laundry twice and washed socks/underwear in the hotel one additional time and had no problem with wardrobe. The flexibility and mobility to carry one bag on my shoulder was key in the enjoyment of my trip.

3. Center of it All - Book hotel rooms in the center of where you want to be. I resisted the urge to find deals in less desirable or more remote locations. For one, you get what you pay for hotel wise and secondly time is money when you are on vacation so pay the little extra to be in the center of where ya want to be.

4. Trust your instincts about you - Do your best to be open to new things and expand your horizons but trust your instincts about who you are and what you like. My example: it is common thought is to stay in a city/place for at least 4/5 days to really get the full experience of that place. I knew that for most people that is probably true but that for me I tend to get antsy if not anxious after 2/3 days and want to move to a new place. I planned my itinerary accordingly and was very pleased to be able to experience a new and exciting place every 3 days.

5. Plan Itinerary in detail - I planned my itinerary in great detail. Yes, there were a few things I wasn't able to get to because of time but that was much preferred to the alternative of wasting valuable time doing on the spot planning. Obviously this would change for more seasoned travelers revisiting places.

6. Avoid Early AM - I intentionally avoided early am flights, trains and plans in general. This way I avoided the commuters and was able to avoid that wake-up call running late stressful start to the day. Remember... you are on vacation. And cities like London, Paris and Rome dine late and socialize late leaving plenty of late morning and afternoon time for sightseeing, shopping etc.

hope this helps... thank you...

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